SVOLT signs lease for battery factory in Germany

The Chinese battery manufacturer SVOLT has signed the lease for its future factory for the assembly of modules and packs at the Saarland site in Heusweiler. However, there is no mention of the future of the cell factory also planned in Saarland.

SVOLT itself says that the 15-year lease agreement underpins its long-term plans in Saarland. Parallel to the lease agreement, the company has also secured a possible right of first refusal.

The first part of the building (Production 1) is scheduled to go into use in April 2023, with the other parts of the building to follow in stages. The final completion is contractually agreed by mid-2024. SVOLT employees have already moved into the new administration building in Heusweiler.

In November 2020, SVOLT announced two projects in Saarland – on the one hand, the assembly of battery cells into modules and packs and, on the other hand, the headline-grabbing establishment of a 24 GWh cell factory in Überherrn. The statement at the time: in the former laminate park in Heusweiler – about 30 kilometres from Überherrn – operations were to start in mid-2022, in the cell factory at the end of 2023.

Cell production delayed in Germany

While according to the current announcement the delay for the assembly in Heusweiler will be less than one year, it is different for the cell factory: In September 2022 SVOLT had announced the construction of another battery factory in Brandenburg (planned production start is early 2025). In the course of this, it also became known that the construction of the cell factory in Saarland will be significantly delayed. Maxim Hantsch-Kramskoj, Vice President Sales & Marketing of SVOLT Europe, stated at the time that he did not expect cell production in Überherrn before 2027.

The assembly in Heusweiler will therefore not be carried out with locally manufactured cells, and a supply of battery cells from Lauchhammer in Brandenburg will also not be possible until 2025. Instead, cells from the Chinese SVOLT plants will probably be assembled into modules and packs there.

The plant in Heusweiler in the former ‘Laminate Park’ was converted by the Goldbeck company as a general contractor on behalf of the Batteriefabrik Heusweiler (PBH) project company. PBH is itself a spin-off of SHS-Strukturholding Saar. The aim is to continue to use the existing buildings on the site in the best possible way in terms of sustainability and to keep the conversion measures to a minimum. Thus, the centrally located building complex with a total area of around 23,000 square metres and the administration building will be retained. Some areas have been deconstructed to make room for new buildings with about 13,000 square metres as well as necessary logistics areas and outdoor facilities.

“With the signing of the lease agreement, we are underpinning our long-term plans in Saarland, which are a key element of SVOLT’s European expansion strategy,” says Kai-Uwe Wollenhaupt, President SVOLT Europe & Vice President SVOLT Energy Technology. “The plant in Heusweiler will be the first location in Europe to directly supply our customers with battery packs and modules. I would like to thank all the partners involved and am particularly pleased that the first employees have already been able to move into the office buildings in Eiweiler.”

Anke Rehlinger, Minister-President of the German state of Saarland, added: “Preserving existing jobs and creating new ones: That is the primary goal of the state government. The establishment of SVOLT will bring many new jobs and is a great opportunity for Saarland to play in the premier league of electromobility.”


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